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Gary's Welding Trailer Project

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  • garybdavis
    started a topic Gary's Welding Trailer Project

    Gary's Welding Trailer Project

    I couldn’t find very many pictures of welding trucks or trailers before I started this project. So here is a fairly detailed write up along with some pictures. Perhaps someone can find this information useful in their next welding truck/trailer project.

    This was a fun project and long overdue. My first portable welder was a Miller Blue Star 2E and no, I won’t be posting any pictures of THAT trailer set up. With the TB302G comes a matching new trailer. Hopefully, I won’t outgrow this one, but if I keep listening to you guys, I just might end up with a bigger blue machine.

    Tools
    I hand blend the majority of the visible welds. It’s time consuming, but I like the way it looks. With the exception of the rod holders in the tool box, nothing was bent or sheared. Everything else was hand blended. Steel was cut with a chop saw, jig saw and cutting torch. I used a hand held drill, hand held grinder, and hand held belt sander. I cut the holes on the rear bumper and on the rod holders on my floor mill.

    Paint
    The paint is Dupont “Nason” K2 single stage polyurethane. It’s a bit more durable that typical automotive paint, but doesn’t flow quite as well. A good choice for trailers and the like. Pin striping is the vinyl stick on type.

    Tool Box
    The tool box is custom made. The shell is 1/8 diamond plate with some 1” square tubing and the top is framed with 1 ½ angle iron. The hinges came from King Architectural Metals and I added grease fittings to them. The gas cylinders were ordered directly for SPD. They offer free engineering services. You give them the dimensions and weight of the lid and they tell you what type of cylinder you need and where to mount the pivot points. They can design for virtually any lifting/closing force you want.
    http://www.spdhardware.com/gs1.htm

    Stickers and Stars
    The “Texas Stars” from King Architectural Metals are grey cast and welded on from the back side. A dab of caulk after sandblasting and priming gives them a molded in look. The “WARNING” and “DANGER” stickers need to be read carefully. I had them custom made at a sign shop and I put them on most things I make. I use this tongue design on all the trailers I make, so they all look the same up front.

    Trailer Wiring
    The wiring harness is a sealed type. There are two breaks in the main harness that are sealed with heat shrink. The heat shrink I use has a heat activated melt liner that provides a water tight seal. All connections are soldered and covered by that type of heavy duty heat shrink. It typically takes me two full days to wire a trailer, but it will last many, many years.

    The battery mounted in the welder is hooked into the trailer wiring harness. It serves as the battery for the break-a-way brakes and also supplies power for the light in the tool box. When I’m towing the welder down the road, the battery gets charged from the truck via the trailer connector. When the trailer is sitting idle at the shop, I plug a battery maintainer into the trailer wiring harness and the welder battery stays charged up. I have enough batteries to mess with, so using one battery on the trailer saves me from some of those headaches.

    Water Cannons & Fire Extinguishers
    I own four water cannons and right now that’s probably a good thing since I live in Texas. I wanted these to be readily available at all times, so I mounted them right out in the open. I also have a 10 pound dry chemical with room to mount a second one. Even though the welder trailer is ready for some action it will have to sit for a while until we get some rain.

    Center of Gravity and Weight
    I ran calculations for various mounting positions of the welder, gas bottles, tool box, etc before I settled on a layout. The tongue load is pretty accurate to what I calculated it to be and I tested it at 80MPH on the freeway the other day. Unlike some of my first home made trailers, no fishtailing or swaying. The total weight is a little over 2k fully loaded. The axle is 3500lb and tires are 75D15 load range D rated for 2530lb each.

    Bottle Rack
    It holds medium acetylene and 240 cu ft oxygen bottles in a vertical position. I was worried about the center of gravity being to high, but the trailer tows just fine. The rack is welded to the support frame underneath the diamond plate skin. Two ¾” bolts hold the bottles in position. I think it would take a pretty good wreck to knock these bottles out of position which is what I designed it for. Hopefully, I won’t ever find out.

    Future Bottle Rack
    I left a space behind the tool box for a second bottle rack. This would be a horizontal rack capable of holding two 240 cu ft bottles. Or, I could make something else to bolt down in this space. I predrilled the mounting holes and welded supports underneath.

    Cables and Hoses
    The cables racks have a total of 200’ of 1/0 welding cable on them. 100’ for the ground and 100’ for the lead. The hose rack has 100’ of Goodyear Oxy/Act twin hose. It doesn’t show up in the pictures, but the welding cables have my name printed on them. I ordered the cable directly from the manufacturer. I believe it was Trystar.
    Attached Files

  • SamChalfant
    replied
    Very nice, could I possibly get the plans for it?
    my email is Chalfant.sam@gmail.com

    Leave a comment:


  • tarry99
    replied
    Nice Trailer...............glad you took some pictures cause it will never look that good again!

    Leave a comment:


  • Aeronca41
    replied
    Gary, that is just beautiful work, and it looks like it's still pretty much like new. Thank you for posting the original project, and the updates. I have admired your work since first finding this thread several years ago. Awesome!

    Leave a comment:


  • garybdavis
    replied
    Here are some pics of the trailer. It's been over ten years later and she's still doing her job. Admittedly, I don't have a tremendous number of hours on the welder, but I've built A LOT of fence bracing, and hung too many gates to count. I still get emails requesting the design plans. I've had a couple of guys send me pictures of their finished rigs and they looked pretty good. One guy even drove out to meet me and show off his trailer.

    Happy welding,
    Gary
    Attached Files

    Leave a comment:


  • garybdavis
    replied
    9 years later I guess it's time for an update but there's not much to say other than I was out yesterday with it welding fence bracing. The welding trailer pretty much looks the same as it did in 2006. I do keep it inside the shop so it gets a little dusty but that's about it. Since 2006, I moved to the family ranch and built a house, shop and numerous fencing brace and a cattle corral with 3000 feet of pipe. The only changes I've had to make are the lid supports. The original ones gave out and I put new ones on.

    When I built my house, I put in a 240v/50A inlet so I could use the generator function in case of power outages. I've used that only once or twice but it works very well. I can run just about anything and everything in the house except for the big AC unit.

    I've gotten numerous emails from folks wanting the design plans. I've probably emailed out a couple dozen or so. So far, only one guy has sent me pictures back of the completed unit. His layout was almost exactly the same but with a few mods.

    Thanks for all the kind comments. I'll post some updated pics soon.

    PS, if you want me to email you plans, send me an email directly: davis.garyb777@gmail.com (yopu need to take out the 777 - it's there to fool the automated email trolls).

    Leave a comment:


  • koolken
    replied
    I will totally build me a trailer like this! Awesome... Now if you would kindly email me the plans they would be greatly appreciated!
    koolken1234@yahoo.com
    Thanx

    Leave a comment:


  • pitsmoker
    replied
    What KB said.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bistineau
    replied
    First time I've seen this thread. Like everyone has already said, Nice job on the trailer. Since you mentioned in the thread that linked to this one, that you are still using it as is, could you put up a few pics of what it looks like now? Whatever little battle damage and all it has encountered since it has been in use.

    Leave a comment:


  • eli
    replied
    Originally posted by eli View Post
    Gary.good job on the trailer, I just finish looking at the pictures and if you don't mind can you e mail me the plans of the trailer I am going to attempt to make one for my welding machine is a miller legend nt tank you in advance.
    e mail them to elielgarcia91@yahoo.com

    Leave a comment:


  • eli
    replied
    trailer project

    Originally posted by garybdavis View Post
    Give me your email address and I'll get them sent to you.
    Gary.good job on the trailer, I just finish looking at the pictures and if you don't mind can you e mail me the plans of the trailer I am going to attempt to make one for my welding machine is a miller legend nt tank you in advance.

    Leave a comment:


  • weldonwelding
    replied
    Lol... never paid any attention to it.

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  • Old Skool
    replied
    7 Yr Old Thread

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  • weldonwelding
    replied
    I really like it man... but I gotta tell ya... you made the same mistake I did. You put your oxy acy bottles on it. Its a 500 dollar fine in MD. And de. And they can also shut you down right on the spot. I dunno the laws where your at but I would imagine their the same....?

    To get by at all, even on a truck your straps have to be DOT approved. Or at least look like the ones that are DOT approved. I would bet that if a DOT man passed you goin down the highway he would stop you. It happened to me just cause I had em on the trailer. I made my own straps and he didn't even notice that
    Last edited by weldonwelding; 04-01-2013, 05:50 AM.

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  • fkp
    replied
    Nice

    Gary, That is so sweet! Looks great.

    Leave a comment:

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